Warning: Contains Spoilers!
If you start thinking the Jaxers are anything but victims then what does that make you?
Aufwader’s Thoughts: This book was quite late to publication, if I’m remembering right, and when it was finally released, there was no hardback edition to match the previous two. It’s naive, these days, to imagine that a delayed print run might be because of the actual content of the manuscript, but in this instance, it’s not unimaginable.
Some of the stuff in this chapter would be difficult to print in adult fiction, but YA? Cannibalism, child abuse of all kinds, graphic torture, we’ve had just about everything at this point in the series. Satanic doings, internment camps for teens, and now this? It’s as if Robin knew he was going back to cosy middle-grade after this trilogy was over and wanted to squeeze as many shocking scenes and thorny topics into this final Jaxy curtain call as he could. Well, we’re only three chapters in. Let’s see what else he can throw at us.
Matt’s Thoughts: Ruthless, Mr Jarvis! After presenting us with a roomful of Korean characters as well drawn as any other minor characters in the Jarvis Universe, two of them are dead by the end of the chapter!
I haven’t seen the film, but I read the book World War Z a few years ago, in which a zombie infestation of the world is described as a series of oral histories by survivors of the crisis. The characters in the story come from all over the world and what raises the book above an otherwise fairly ordinary zombie apocalypse tale is watching how different cultures react to the problem. The South Africans use an old apartheid master plan as a way of separating themselves from infested townships. Some Chinese soldiers steal a nuclear submarine and survive at sea, avoiding all major countries. Etc.
And the North Koreans, from memory, retreated into their country, shut all the borders and nobody ever saw sign of them again. Did they survive? Did they all live in underground bunkers? Or did they all turn into undead? We never find out.
There’s a touch of that here, as the North Koreans think through such plans as strapping a nuclear warhead to Lee. Clearly that plan was scrapped but the mention of ‘lifting restrictions’ at the end is even more ominous …